Peat moss is a type of sphagnum moss that is formed through a process of slow decomposition of dead plant material, primarily Sphagnum moss, in wetland areas. It acts as a soil conditioner, helping to retain water and nutrients in the soil, as well as improve aeration and drainage. It is also widely used as a soil amendment in landscaping projects.
Over thousands of years in the correct wetland conditions, the decomposing matter slowly builds up and compresses at the base of the wetland, forming peat moss. This material is harvested and dried, then used as a soil additive or as a substrate for horticultural purposes.
Peat moss is a popular soil amendment composed of decomposed organic materials, more specifically sphagnum moss. Over the course of thousands of years, sphagnum moss, along with other micronutrients, decomposes in the absence of air within peat bogs. Although this process occurs at an alarmingly slow rate of a mere sixteenth of an inch each year, a more homogenous product is ultimately extracted. After decomposition, sphagnum moss yields the characteristic, fibrous, compact material that is frequently used as a top dressing amongst landscapers and home gardeners.
What are its Benefits?
After spreading grass seed, peat moss should subsequently be applied as a topdressing using a compost spreader or a spreader. It should be spread approximately at a thickness of approximately 1/8th of an inch to a max of ¼ of an inch. This can be best accomplished with the aid of a Landzie Spreader.
The addition of it provides numerous benefits, as its properties are extremely conducive to seed germination, protection from birds and other animals, and moisture retention.
First, peat moss is a sterile medium, meaning it does not contain any harmful pests, pathogens, weed seeds, or chemicals. This creates an ideal environment for growing plants. Although this moss has little to no nutrients, it does assist the soil in holding nutrients by itself by increasing the cation exchange capacity.
In other words, the soil’s ability to supply three important plant nutrients: calcium, magnesium, and potassium is drastically increased. Peat moss acidifies its surroundings by taking up these cations, which is great for acid-loving plants, like grass seed.
Moreover, it is highly absorbent and retains up to 20 times its weight in water! This is a major key with regard to soil compaction. The structure and capacity to absorb water easily are important for the prevention of soil compaction.
This relationship is crucial due to the fact that soil compaction reduces water absorption, reducing the soil’s efficacy and in turn making it more difficult for seeds and plants to grow. With the addition of peat moss, this issue is easily mitigated.
Consider adding sphagnum moss as a top dressing to your spring and fall grass routines. Check out the Landzie Spreader for your compost, sphagnum moss, and any topdressing needs. Check out our products page for a full line of products to help you grow a beautiful, lush lawn.
How To Spread Peat Moss Over Grass Seed
Peat moss is an excellent material to use when starting new grass seed. It is light and airy, so it won’t compact the soil, and it holds moisture well, helping to keep the seed moist until it germinates. Also, it’s acidic, which helps lower the pH of the soil and make it more hospitable for grass seed.
To spread it over grass seed, simply fill up your top dressing spreader, and roll it over your new seed. You don’t need to cover the seed completely, but you should aim for a layer that is about ½ inch thick. Once the peat moss is in place, use a lawn roller to press the seed down so that it is partially buried. This will help to keep it in place and prevent it from blowing away. Also, rolling the seed and peat moss together ensures that the seed is evenly distributed throughout your lawn. Don’t rake the lawn after the seed is down, because you risk moving the seed and creating patches with no seed at all.
After Spreading the Moss
Now that the peat moss is evenly covering your lawn, you can water it lightly. Be sure to keep the seed moist, but don’t saturate the soil. The seed can easily move around if the water pools up anywhere. In some cases, you’ll need to water 2-3 times a day to keep the seed moist, but it’s worth the effort. You’ll have to start all over again if you let the seed dry out too much.
Once the seed has germinated and the grass blades are 2-3″ tall, you can begin to mow. Be sure to set the blades high at first, and gradually lower them as the grass grows.
For more information on spreading peat moss over grass seed, check out The LawnWhisperer’s video guide to seeding a lawn.
In this video, we will show you what you need to know about peat moss.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is peat moss made out of?
Peat moss is made out of sphagnum moss, which is a type of moss that grows in bogs and wetlands. The moss is harvested and then dried out before it is used as a gardening or horticultural product. It is used as a soil amendment and a potting soil ingredient because it is able to hold large amounts of water and nutrients. It is also used as a mulch to help control weeds and retain moisture in the soil.
Where can I find it?
It can be found in many places including garden centers, hardware stores, and online retailers.
Where is it produced?
It is produced in many parts of the world, but the vast majority comes from Canada. In fact, Canada is responsible for about three-quarters of the world’s peat moss production.
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